Man vs Woman

Well, there’s no more skirting around about how the presidential election will play out between now and November.

“She is a woman. She is playing the woman card left and right,” said the GOP’s self-proclaimed presumptive nominee Donald Trump about his presumptive November opponent, Hillary Clinton. “She didn’t play it last time with [then-senator Barack] Obama. But she’s playing it much harder this time and she will be called on it. If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”

Apparently, in Trump’s eyes, legal counsel on the Watergate panel, eight years as a White House occupant, being a former senator from New York, and serving a stint as Secretary of State don’t mean as much to voters as her gender. Does that say more about Trump, Clinton, or voters?

Clinton picked up on the attack pretty quickly.

“Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card,” she responded, “then deal me in.”

The fault lines have been drawn. Trump, as most polls show, struggles to get support from women voters. From his clumsy answers on abortion, where he first said women who undergo a procedure should be punished then walked it back, to his caustic comments about women candidates’ appearance he’s not helping himself.

Trump’s aides have quietly told Republican party officials that they’ll shake the Etch-a-Sketch before the fall and tone down The Donald’s image. Good luck with that. Democrats hope he keeps talking.

One thing Clinton shares with Trump is a high unfavorability rating, making the selection of a vice president key for both. In Clinton’s case, speculation has focused on minorities and women, including our own Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick. It’s unlikely either helps her much in the electoral math, given their geographic appeal, though Warren would energize the Bernie Sanders folks.

Trump’s divisive campaign style will make it much more problematic for him to find a woman to pair with to blunt the perception of sexism that engulfs him. Carly Fiorina, who was the target of some of Trump’s schoolyard taunts over appearance, is unlikely to forgive and forget, not to mention the reports of her being vetted by Ted Cruz as a possible running mate. Others mentioned as potential running mates for Trump, such as Ben Carson and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, would have a negligible effect on bringing independent and Democratic women to their side of the ballot. And if he taps New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, they’d best keep Mary Pat Christie, aka Mrs. Christie, out of background shots.

Women helped Obama both in 2008 and, to a lesser extent, in 2012, and it’s hard to foresee a scenario that Trump makes inroads in that support. His only hope is that the young female voters, who have been reluctant to back Clinton, decide not to vote.

But, really, with the first woman as a major party’s presidential nominee in clear sight and a man whose portfolio includes running beauty pageants, did anyone not think gender would play a role? For future generations, it’s best we get it out of the way now.




As is common practice, most of the deliberations on amendments to the House budget take place behind closed doors. (State House News)

Key legislative officials said it is unlikely the House and Senate will agree on charter school expansion legislation that could avert a ballot fight on the issue. (State House News)


Former federal judge Nancy Gertner and ex-state prosecutor Jack Corrigan raise questions (in a Globe op-ed) about leaks (to the Globe) related to the ongoing federal probe of union strong-arming that reportedly now includes Mayor Marty Walsh. US Attorney Carmen Ortiz is facing one of the biggest decisions of her tenure in determining whether any actions by Walsh during his time as head of the building trades union crossed the line into crimes. (Boston Globe)

Michael Monahan, a Boston Redevelopment Authority board member and union leader who was reported by the Globe to be linked to the federal investigation, is facing a May 5 arraignment on assault charges brought by a fellow IBEW member. (Boston Herald) A Herald editorial says Walsh should call for Monahan’s resignation.

Hopkinton selectmen approved a measure that requires all bars and restaurants to cease serving booze at 1 a.m., changing the old policy that allowed establishments to set their own hours. (MetroWest Daily News)

Truro moved a step closer to a full-time fire department when Town Meeting voters gave preliminary approval to fund six positions. It now heads to the May 10 ballot. (Cape Cod Times)

A Worcester City Council committee backs wage and residency benchmarks for developers who receive future tax relief deals. (Telegram & Gazette)

Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund is mulling a $47 million offer from the owners of a natural gas compressor station on Fore River if the town drops its opposition to the plant. (Patriot Ledger)


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission starts crunching numbers as it reviews a bid for a Brockton casino license. A consultant to the commission says two casinos in southeastern Massachusetts would cause the state’s tax take from gambling to fall. (CommonWealth)

The two federally recognized tribes in Connecticut say they have assurances from Washington that their planned jointly operated casino on the Massachusetts border would not jeopardize the current gambling agreements they have with state officials for their other gaming facilities. (Associated Press)


Georgia joins the list of states providing funding for what are being called anti-abortion centers. (Governing)


MassINC Polling Group’s Steve Koczela says Trump performed roughly equally among registered Republicans and independents in the Massachusetts primary, which argues against the idea he’ll be hurt by rules allowing only registered party members to take place in caucuses this weekend to select delegates. (WBUR)

Dan Kennedy goes off on New Hampshire’s ban on selfies in the ballot booth, saying it’s a First Amendment issue. (WGBH)


After an outcry, Amazon announces it will offer same-day service in Roxbury as well as everywhere else in the Boston area. (WBUR)

Apple announced its first drop in quarterly revenue in 13 years due mainly to falling sales of iPhones amid market saturation. (New York Times)

It’s not just the Whole Foods effect: A new study finds that whenever a popular retailer moves into a neighborhood, home values increase. (U.S. News & World Report)


Eric Waldo, the head of Michelle Obama’s college initiative, does a Q&A with CommonWealth.

Mayor Marty Walsh will expand the number of slots in a summer program to help students prepare to take the test determining admission to the city’s three exam schools. (Boston Herald)


The FDA is seeking to ban the use of electric shock therapy at the Judge Rotenberg School in Canton, the only school in the country that uses the device for behavior control. (Patriot Ledger)

Having trouble getting insurance coverage for a specific treatment? You want Laurie Todd, the “insurance warrior,” on your case. (STAT)

A Plymouth man died after overdosing for the second time in 12 hours. (Boston Herald)

Mosquitoes known to carry the Zika virus were found in New Bedford the last few years but officials say the likelihood of the disease being transmitted is small. (Standard-Times)


Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera struggles to deal with Cassandra Miller-Brown, a 29-year-old addict who keeps leaving treatment programs and overdosing. (Gloucester Times)

Thirty-one court officers in Springfield apparently took advantage of discounted juror parking, prompting Trial Court officials to send a $36,000 check reimbursing the Springfield Parking Authority. (MassLive)

A 20-year-old, who police said had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, is facing vehicular homicide charges in the death of his best friend, who was riding with him when he crashed into a telephone pole in Beverly on Saturday. (Boston Herald)


Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith resigns after being told he can’t write about casino executives Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, with whom he has tangled in court. (Politico)

Tribune Publishing chairman Michael Ferro slams its suitor, Gannett Co., for “trying to steal the company.” (Los Angeles Times)